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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 29, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> today vice-president joe biden campaigns and florida. our coverage is that the glove and:40 eastern on c-span. >> my opponent and his running mate are big believers in top down economics. the basically believe if we spend another $5 trillion on tax >> don't boo, vote. >> >> he has one thing he did not do in his first four years, which is to raise taxes. is there anybody who thinks
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raising taxes will help the economy? his plan is to continue what he has done before. the status quo has not worked. we cannot afford them a more years of brought the bomb. >> wednesday, president obama and mitt romney meet in their first presidential debate. watch and engage with c-span. post debate, your reaction, calls, e-mails, and tweets. >> not a debate between former wisconsin governor tommy thompson and u.s. rep tammy baldwin. this debate is hosted by the wisconsin broadcasters association. the cook political report raised
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his race a tossup. this is one hour. >> good evening. radio and television broadcasters are pleased to continue our public affairs broadcasts tradition began in 1990 sponsoring debates in major political campaigns. the debate will be broadcast over 80 wisconsin television stations. this evening's debate will engage the two leading candidates in their first face- to-face debate. former wisconsin governor tommy thompson and second district congresswoman tammy baldwin. this debate is made possible by generous grants from wisconsin aarprsities and
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wisconsin. >> good evening, everyone. these are my friends. >> our universities and students are pleased to sponsor this debate between the major candidates for the u.s. senate. to be competitive in a global knowledge economy wisconsin needs to expand educational opportunity. this is our mission at the association. we also believe good government depends on an informed and educated public and that a debate can and should be educational.
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we have over 800,000 members in the state. we are pleased to join in sponsoring this 2012 u.s. senate debate. we appreciate you joining us this evening. join us this evening on our web site to find even more information about candidates and the issues this election season. we have seen our society and government faced growing challenges. we hope that our sponsorship of this senate debate will help you gain a better understanding on how each of these candidates would represent us and go for our nation. join us in watching the debate and in thinking about the future.
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join us on tuesday, november 6. the format will allow for each candidate to make an opening statement and respond to questions from >> the format will allow for each candidate to make an opening statement, to respond to questions from a panel and work -- a panel of reporters, and a closing statement. include robert kennedy. opening statement. >> thank you for this opportunity. over the last year, i've traveled this great state. for so many, it has been harder and harder just to get by. what has changed has not been our work ethic, it has been the rules.
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today in washington, powerful rules. of middle-class families. that is why wisconsin needs a senator who will. i've spent my time in washington being the voice for the struggles of the middle class family and standing of to street, big oil, and the big health insurance companies. my opponent spent his time in powerful interests. i have taken on powerful interests on behalf of ordinary
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my opponent has taken onwho is better to represent the middle- class? >> let me thank everybody for being involved. i am tommy thompson. i was governor of this great state for 14 years. while i was governor, we cut taxes 91 times. we gave people an opportunity to work. we reform the health care system. i was able to be the architect for part d. i also started the women's health foundation. she and my daughter had set up the health care foundation for the people -- for the women of wisconsin.
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i've always tried to do what is right for wisconsin, and i think we have been successful. we were able to create 742,000 jobs a follows governor. i was a reformer. my opponent, number one liberal in the united states house of representatives. she is the number one spender in the house of representatives. it is difficult to be able to be number one. rightlways done what was for wisconsin and always will. i need your help and i hope you will support me. >> thank you. our first question will be from robert kennedy. >> governor, good evening. a lot of people in wisconsin have come to the state since your time as governor, and maybe not as familiar with you as others. a lot of people are finding about you through the campaign ads they see and hear on radio and tv.
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some of them are pretty hard against each other. i would like you to tell me what you think is the biggest inaccuracy in an ad that your opponent is running against you. >> my opponent started out the day after the primary and she spent millions of dollars with left-wing liberal individuals in washington. she does not have a record to run on. 90% of the people know me as tommy. not as mr. thompson, where gov.. my wife and my children have lived their whole life in the state of wisconsin and they're trying to make it out like i know lunker belong to wisconsin. -- no longer belong to wisconsin.
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we believe so much in this state. i have run positive ads. i have to defend myself. >> same question. >> i think it is very similar to what we just heard. sometimes the definitions we associate with words like liberal and conservative, the name-calling gets crazy. i looked at how we got into the fiscal mess we're in right now.
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during the bush years, we had two unfunded tax cuts, two unfunded wars. my opponent gave a sweetheart deal to the drug companies. my -- about $3.50 trillion and funded on a credit card to our children and grandchildren. and they call that a conservative. >> our second question will be from lee said. -- lisa. before the end of the year and before either of you is sworn in, the nation faces the explanation of the bush era tax cuts. it also faces the spending cuts unless president obama does something about it.
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leading up to what you might do next session, do think those cuts should be allowed to expire? if not, how would you modify those plans? >> the fiscal cliff is a very serious issue. sequestration is indiscriminate and arbitrary across-the-board cuts and would devastate our economy. it is not the right prescription. i support the president's's plan which is a balanced approach. we have twin challenges facing us. we need to reduce our debt bank and energize our economy. i think with investments in education and research, a middle-class, that is the solution.
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>> we are heading for a recession unless we do something. my opponent has been in congress for 14 years. the debt has gone from $6 trillion to $16 trillion. she has voted for a lot of those spending programs. she introduced programs to increase the spending. she is voting for 100 tax increases. what are we going to do in january? we have got to make sure we address the taxes, we can no longer afford to allow for these taxes to come into play in january. the cbo has said that we're going to end up with a recession. i do not think anybody wants to have a recession. they're waiting until january to solve the problem of america.
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>> our third question is directed to governor thompson. >> beyond the cliff effect, we have a $16 trillion debt. the notion that some say we cannot levy any more taxes, you sign the taxpayer protection pledge. you said that you liked the buffett rule. time we really solve this problem -- can we really solve this problem without any new taxes? >> yes, we can, but you have to be determined and be able to do what -- i have the same problem
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when i came on as the governor of the state of wisconsin. but you've got to be determined and you've got to be able to do what i would like to do. i have the same problem when i came in as governor of the state of wisconsin, john. we were in debt and i came in and with democrats in control of both houses of the legislature, cut taxes 91 times. we reformed spending in the legislature and the state. we were able to create 742,000 jobs. the biggest increase in jobs ever in the history of our state. we turned the state around. i can to the same thing at the federal level. what do we have to do? we have to put in a balanced budget amendment around then we've got to request that every federal agency comes in with a 5% reduction from what they got the previous year and give the secretaries the opportunity to be able to get rid of programs that don't work. nobody in washington ever gets rid of anything. but if you would give the secretaries who run the departments the opportunity to cut back 5% and get rid of programs, you will see the federal government, just like
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the state did, run more efficiently and better. >> representative baldwin? >> thank you. let me talk about what i would cut in order to grapple with our deficit and our debt. i'd end the war, i've worked to end the war in afghanistan which costs us $ billion a week. i would get rid of the sweetheart deal tommy thompson negotiated as head of medicare that makes it illegal for drug companies to bargain with -- medicare to bargain with drug companies for better prices for seniors that one costs us $15 billion per year. i'd get rid of corporate welfare for big corporate farms and big oil. i'd also let the bush tax cuts for the top % expire. i also want to look at the record contrast. i already told you about the policies that tommy thompson supported that added over $3.5 trillion to the debt when president bush was in office. i opposed those irresponsible plans that added to our debt. so now in the future, tommy thompson supports a plan that adds trillions more in tax cuts for the very wealthy and raises
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taxes on the middle class. that's the wrong scription for tackling our -- prescription for tackling our debt. >> our next question, from robert kennedy, directed first to representative baldwin. good evening, representative. >> good evening. >> i'd like to ask you about tax deductions. what sort of tax deductions might you be looking at for closing up, eliminating altogether, things like tuition or child care, that type of thing? what do you have in mind for that? >> well, i do think we have a tax system that is very unfair. it's like there's two sets of the rules of the road. one for the well off and well connected and another set for the rest of us. and it's happened over a long course of having powerful interests have too much power in washington and lobbyists writing special privileges.
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one of the first things -- two of the things i would go after right away, one is the set of deductions and loopholes that encourage outsourcing of u.s. jobs. and an important one is the very deduction that allows folks to move personnel and equipment overseas and write it off as a business expense. another very important one has to do with a rule called carried interest whereby hedge fund managers can get their compensation taxed at the 15% level. that's why we see presidential candidate on the republican side paying such low taxes. we have to get rid of them to be fair for america. >> governor thompson? >> it's always amazing for me to listen to somebody that blames somebody that's not even in congress for all the problems of congress. i was back in wisconsin creating jobs and l.h.i. when my opponent was in washington spending and taxing to such a
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degree. we have to balance the budget and we have to request every department to come in and 5% below. just like i did at the state level. if you want to balance the budget, you have to make some tough decisions. what she's talking about is always trying to find a way to tax somebody else, divide up the classes in america. i'm a builder. i built wisconsin. when i was governor, we cut taxes 91 times. we cut income taxes, we cut the property taxes, the inheritance tax, the gift tax and we created 742,000 jobs. that's what we did in wisconsin. what they did in washington they got 23 million people unemployed and underemployed. that's their accomplishment. pleat difference of philosophy and direction between my opponent and myself. >> our next question is from lisa, directed first to governor thompson.
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>> this might be something we can all agree on. the approval ratings of congress can't get much worse than it is right now. the lack of productivity would be a problem for the rest of us in our jobs. most people believe things have to change in the way congress operates. do you believe any change to the structure, for example, term limits, or the 60% filibuster rule in the senate, do you think any changes should be made? if so, please name them specifically. >> well, listen, first off, what you've got to do is sit town and talk. when i was governor and the democrats controlled the legislature in both houses for 12 1/2 out of my 14 year well, plibbed great things. why? because i sat down with the other side. we reached an agreement. we cut taxes. we changed welfare. giving people hope and opportunity.
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we built wisconsin. what happens in washington? everybody, my opponent is -- even her party doesn't pass any legislation. because she is so far out there. she's not in the mainstream. what we have to do is we have to be willing to talking willing to discuss, and willing to reach an agreement. the 60% rule in the u.s. senate should be done away with it. being able to put a mark in so that somebody doesn't get approved, those are yesterday's procedures. all those procedures in the united states senate should be modernize sod that 52%, 51%, 50% of the people in the senate can make policy and move this country forward. >> representative baldwin? >> i certainly agree that congress has gotten too partisan and certainly has lost etc. civility and i find that regrettable. i have always had great success in reaching across the party aisle and getting things done, both in my time in the state legislature and my time in the
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congress. some may not believe that tommy thompson once signed into law a tammy bald when-scot walker bill. in congress i've worked to advance disability legislation for blinded veterans with congressman -- republican congressman, now senator, john bozeman. i worked with sue myrick, a republican, who passed the serb call cancer -- cervical cancer early diagnosis law. i agree there ought to be real reform in the senate. i think members of congress shouldn't get paid if they don't pass a budget. >> our next question will be from john porter, directed fist to representative baldwin. >> representative baldwin, the population projections for
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wisconsin are fascinating to look at. it says that by 2035, there's going to be a million and a half people like me who will be 65 or older. and that's twice as many as we have in this state in the year 2000. what do you think the social security -- that social security is going to look like for them given that they have been contributing to it for their entire working lives? >> now, i was raised by my grandparents. i am so lucky that they were there for me when i needed them. but i also note i was exposed at a much younger age to the value of both medkear and social security. they provided economic security to my family. justieve they're not programs but they're promises and promises that we must keep. a few years back, president bush announced a plan to privatize social security. i think about the financial tu
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multithat our country has just gone through and what would have happened to those resources had we invested them in the markets. we need to make sure that medicare and social security remain bedrock foundations. social security is not contributing to our debt. we should leave it alone and make the appropriate changes to keep it tissue keep its solvency for years and generations to come. >> governor thompson? >> a good question, john. medicare doesn't start going broke until 2036. we have time to fix it. medicare is going to go bankrupt by 2022. socialot to maintain security and medicare but it's amazing to me, why i want to run so bad is i want to fecks the problems. my opponent has been in congress for 14 years. has she ever introduced legislation to fix social security?
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no. has she ever put any legislation in to fix medicare? has any democrat ever put in legislation to fix social security or medkear? they're going to stand around and wait? until it goes broke. i want you, john, to be able to be sure you'll have social security. that's why i'm running. i'm going to make sure you and all the seen yoffers america are going to be able to have that safety net, the same way i'm running because of the chern and grandchildren in this state so they can inherit a country stronger, freer fairer, safer with a future that's in crisis. nobody solves the problem, i will. that's why i'm running. >> our next question is from robert kennedy to -- directed fers to governor thompson. >> governor, health care or obamacare is certainly a big issue in this campaign across the country. you've been tagged by president obama as being a supporter of the affordable care act and represent the representative
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voted for it in congress. as we stand here today or sit here todaying your thoughts on that. are there portions of it that you think should stay? should it be repealed altogether? and what areas should we keep if you think there are parts that are worth saving? >> number one, i started senior care. i changed health care in wisconsin. when i was secretary of health and human services, i was the architect of part d. that's going to allow seniors to have drugs and be able to purchase those drugs. my opponent doesn't believe obamacare goes far enough. she would like to have a single payer, a government takeover. what i want, bob, is i want a health care system that's affordable and accessible. number one, let's base it on quality. number two, let's allow individuals to be able to purchase health insurance over
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the internet and be able to put in what they want in there. number three, let's do away with the liability problems so doctors have to practice defensive medicine. let's make sure that 18% of the cost of health care which goes into paperwork, we require insurance companies to have only one form in medicare. 1% of the population uses 20% of the cost. let's make sure they're taken care of and be able to have managed care. we could change this, we could make health care affordable and accessible and obamacare doesn't to that. >> representative baldwin? >> you know, the last thing we need moving forward is to have tommy thompson and others rip up the affordable care act, throw it out and have more years of partisan bickering over this. it is high time that we pull together across the party aisle and put this into full effect and make it work for america and wisconsinites. the effect of tommy thompson ripping up this health care law is very concerning to so many who have already benefited and
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people who know they will. young people are now on their parents' health insurance up to age 26. i was in a classroom at u.w. oshkosh the other tai and i asked students to raise their hands if they were covered by their parents' insurance. 2/3's of the room shot their hands up. i'm proud of that because i drafted that particular provision in committee. but people, parents with chern with pre-existing conditions, now know they can get insurance coverage. people who are on medicare now get free preventive care. he would throw all that out and that's irresponsible. >> robert, you have a followup question? >> governor, just so we're clear, there is nothing in the affordable care act right now that's worth maintaining? >> no. right now the affordable care act has 20 taxes increased. we have to do away with the affordable care act, then we can put in things like making sure that the individuals are
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going to be able to be covered. pre-existing illness can be taken care of. individuals will have control over their health care and be able to buy a contract. my opponent wants to -- wants the govern to control it. i want you, the individual and state government to be able to determine who is going to be able to be the arbitrators and referees of health care. huge difference. you want the federal government to make a determination who your doctor and hospital is? or the state and individual? i'm with the state and individual my opponent wants the federal government. huge, diametrically opposed. that's what it's all about. there are things like wellness and prevent, bob, that i drafted when i was secretary that are in the affordable care act that absolutely need to be maintained. chronic illnesses is something i started when i was secretary of health. that's not to be maintained and be able to continue. >> representative baldwin? >> well, the last statement about government intrusion in
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doctor selection is just absurd. the affordable care act when fully implemented will set up state-based, private health insurance exchanges and people will get help getting full coverage. but what ipped to -- i want to answer is the question, he was asked if there was anything he likes in the bell. how about something that i don't like that was in the bill. and that is that it maintains the sweetheart deal that tommy thompson cut with the drug companies when it became illegal for medicare to bargain for better drug prices for seniors. i would get rid of that. >> our next question is from lisa, directed fers to representative baldwin. >> let's talk a little more about medicare. it's certainly a program that seniors have come to rely on. it's also a program that if modified could actually save the federal budget a lot of money. vice president -- vice- presidential candidate paul ryan has a plan to turn it into a voucher type program. i guess i'd like to hear specifically each of your vigs
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for the future of medicare. >> well, thank you for that question, lisa. i've already mentioned the fact that i got to see the difference that medicare makes in people's lives at a much earlier age than most do because i was raised by my grandparents. and my grandmother was on medicare by the time i was in my late teens. this is something that i regard as more than a program but a promise an one that we must keep. my opponent supports a plan to end medicare as we know it, to instead give seniors vouchers that outside, nonpartisan analysts have said will encrease out of pocket expenses for seniors over the first decade up to $6,000. and i know very few wisconsin seniors who can afford that sort of burden. we need to continue what we did in the affordable care act that extended medicare's solvency by nearly a decade. >> governor thompson. >> it's amazing to me that she
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has the audacity to say i did this, i'm not even in congress. i'm a private sector. i believe what needs to be done, we got to protect medicare but all the years that my opponent spent in weak, 14 years, she never introduced one bill to save medicare. all shezz does is blame somebody else. she wants to criticize. i want to fix medicare. i want to make sure that the seniors in america and wisconsin are going to have coverage. and i want to make sure we do it in the right way. medicare goes broke in the year 2022. it is $42 trillion in debt right now. there's no way that it's going to be able to continue unless we modify it and change it. i believe that ron white, a democrat and paul ryan, a republican have got the first
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step. i would go further. i would put medicare, before it goes broke, allow seniors and individuals to be able to continue to be covered by medicare but after that, be able to be put into the federal health program the same way she gets her health insurance right now. it was good -- if it's good enough for the congress why isn't it good enough for the seniors? that's the difference. it's not a voucher pral. you're allowing seniors to have continuation of health care. >> thank you governor. our next question is from john, first to governor thompson. israeliertain you saw prime minister netanyahu holding up his cartoon bomb in the u.n. earlier this week. kind of disturbing to a lot of american i'm sure but israel says if iran moves closer to building nuclear weapons it's going to do what it sees if it to protect itself an our policy over the years would indicate that the u.s. would respond
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militarily if israel asked us. is keeping iran from becoming a nation with nuclear weapons worth putting u.s. troops in harm's way? >> it's necessary to prevent iran and ahmadinejad, who is an individual that is somewhat mentally impaired, who believes that the holocaust never existed, believes that israel should be destroyed and has threatened america that they're going to blockade the gulf of hormuz. which would block all the oil going worldwide, it would enter us into a world depression. sooner or later, unless we draw the red line that netanyahu wants, we're going to have the problem of iran having a nuclear bomb. we cannot afford that. it will end up in a world war. we've got to stop them. my opponent in 2006, 2009 and 2010 voted against the sanctions of iran. only now three months before the election she's now for them. and i believe that it's time
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for us to draw the red line and say, no more ahmadinejad. we are going to stop and you are not going to have a nuclear bomb. we cannot afford to allow that individual and that cupry to have a nuclear bomb. >> representative baldwin? >> iran's nuclear ambitions are a threat to the united states, a threat to the region, a threat to our allies, including israel and especially israel for which it is an existential threat. it's a threat i take very seriously. iran must not become capable of creating a nuclear weapon. i support the president, who has said that all options remain on the table. i believe this is an area where we have to stand united as americans on this foreign policy.
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i have voted for tough and biting sanctions against iran and believe that that process needs to continue to play itself out. all options on the table, but i also would never frivolously, not quite the right word. i would never without thoughtful plans send our men and women into harm's way without an exit strategy and an assurance we are going to be effective. >> our next question is from robert kennedy, directed first to representative baldwin. >> representative, the situation in afghanistan, american troops being killed by the people that they're training to provide security forer that country, some of those training missions now have been put on hold at least temporarily. how in your opinion, should americans continue to be at risk in that environment? is it too unstable of an
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environment for effective security exercise to continue? your thoughts on that. >> i appreciate that question. in 2001, i voted to authorize use of mill tear force in afghanistan. in the days and months following the nen attacks on the united states. it was a very clear and focused megs to go after those who planned and executed that attack. and i believe our brave men and women who went to afghanistan, very capably fulfilled that mission, frankly in fairly short order. i was in afghanistan in august of 2010, in kabul and at bagram air force base. i met with wisconsin soldiers and -- soldiers and folks in the military from the senior ranks to the tissue to those coming back from forward operating bases. you would be so proud of those men and women, but the mission
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today this nation building mission, is not the one that was authorized. it is now time for them to come home. >> governor thompson? >> my opponent just, i think, misstated. she said she voted for the sanctions against iran. she voted against the sanctions in 2006, 2009, and 2010 and in august she voted for them because she was running for the united states senate. complete change of heart. in regards to afghanistan, ladies and gentlemen, i got my training from colin powell he always taught me this. he said, tommy if we're going to go to war, have a plan and have a reason to go to war. number two, make sure that if you go to war, you have the necessary fire power to win. overwhelmingly. and number three have an exist strategy. we do not have the desire to when an we do not have an exit strategy. we should get out of after fan stan. i have been to afghanistan four times. i built a hospital for women and children in kabul.
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i opened it up in -- over easterner 2004. and it was one of those humanitarian things that i've been involved in. but we need to get out of afghanistan now. >> robert? followup? >> yes, thank you. a quick followup. for the record then, is there no useful purpose for u.s. troops to be in afghanistan, representative, in your opinion? >> 30 seconds. >> at this point, we are there engaged in war. the mission i believe has been completed and completed successfully in short order. the nation building, the building of hospitals in afghanistan when we have nation building needs at home is not sufficient reason and we need to bring our troops home. >> our next question is from
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lisa, directed first to governor thompson. >> a major reason that u.s. lyes are put at stake in that region, bringing it home, i would like to know your thoughts on developing more energy alturntives in this country offshore drilling, oil from federal lands that sort of thing. >> when i was secretary, i went up to anwr, up in alaska. i had to go up to take care of the alaska data. i found out that the area we want to drill in anwr is about 2,000 acres in 30,000 square miles. postagee putting a stamp on a football field. we can drill and drill correctly. they say the caribou walk through. the caribou are smart enough to walk around. the environmentalists may not be but the caribou are. we can trill up there effectively bringing that oil down to member america. the keystone pipeline which my opponent is opposed to, swell the president, i've been thereupon. they have more tar sands oil than we need in america for the next 25 years.
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and all they want to do is build a pipeline down through the dakotas, down to houston to refine the gas. we can do that. we've got natural gas. we produce more natural gas than saudi arabia. i'm fed up to -- with sending money to opec. i want us to be energy endependent and we can do it by drill, natural gas and building the pipeline. >> representative baldwin? >> certainly becoming energy independent of mid east oil is necessary for our economy as well as our national security. and so i think we have to have an all hands on deck approach to this. i think we can to a lot, in terms of extraction, having a use it or lose it policy. tommy talks about opening up anwr for drilling when it would only produce a six-month supply and we have oil companies right now that are sitting on leases for years and years, and not using them.
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use it or lose it. we can to a lot more with efficiency. we can do a lot more also with new energy and homegrown energy. there's so much happening in wisconsin an me -- and the midwest that's creating new jobs. that's the direction we need to go in. >> our next question is from john, directed fers to representative bald when. >> there are prome some people watching us who are out of work, others who are watching us who used to have jobs that paid better. in a lot of ways, i think this election is about jobs. it's all -- it's been part of every answer. president obama has indicated that he believes the public sector can create jobs and help the economy. his opponent says that by helping the private sector, that will create jobs and help the economy. where do you stand on the public sector creating jobs?
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>> representative bald when, you're first. >> that is the critical question in this election. people are going to vote based on who has the plans to get our economy moving again to get better jobs. i believe that government can do things to foster private sector job development. let me talk about the basic investments we need to protect in order to do that. it's education, it's research and enknow veags, it's infrastructure. and unfortunately, my opponent is supporting a budget plan that, because he's giving such huge tax breaks to the very wealthy and raising taxes on middle class and small businesses, they're slashing those very investments that i think are essential to our growth. the other thing i think is important is in wisconsin we make things. manufacturing is part of the backbone of this state. i have a manufacturing agenda that doesn't cost much money at all, if any, but are the right
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policies to get us growing and making things again. >> governor thompson? >> when you don't have a record you attack the other person. i'm not in congress, you are. i'm in the private sector creating jobs. look at what i did at governor. i was governor for 14 years. we had high unemployment when i came in. i cut taxes 91 times. we grew this state by 742,000 jobs. we went down to unemployment below 2%. i'm a reformer. i get things done. i don't criticize the other side. i make sure things happen. and regards to what's going on, my opponent and barack obama, they want to increase food stamps and unemployment. i want to cut taxes, i want to get the individuals going, i want the private sector to create jobs and opportunities. there's plenty of money available for individuals to put into the marketplace.
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there are -- they're afraid because they don't know the direction of this election -- that this election is going to go. i am confident we can do better in america like i did as governor of wisconsin. >> our next question from robert kennedy directed first to governor thompson. >> i want to talk about a social issue. abortion, specifically. can you talk about what your position on abortion would be and how much federal dollars need to be spent on that? >> i am, i've always been, and will always be pro life. i do have exclusions for the life of a mother, rape and incest. but i am pro life and always have been and always will be. and i believe that's the correct policy. i believe that's what is needed in america today. >> representative baldwin. >> i support the decisions in roe v. wade. and also believe, as a majority
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of wisconsinites do, that abortion should be rare and safe. i understand this is a very difficult topic. it's wrenching for some to grapple with it. but i think that important life decisions have to be left to women in consultation with their families, doctor, clergy. these are difficult issues. but part of the question was, what sort of there ares should be involved at the federal level? and as we debated the health care law, there have been certainties that there will be no taxpayer dollars spent on the abortion procedure. >> follow whereupon? >> governor, staying with the social issue theme, same-sex marriage, some states are allowing, some are having civil unions, in place of that. what's your stand on that?
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>> 71 out of counties voted for a constitutional amendment in wisconsin. i support those 71 counties. that same-sex marriage is not legal in the state of wisconsin. i support that. it's an issue left up to the states and that's where it should be. >> representative baldwin? >> i believe in principles of equality and i certainly support marriage equality. i recognize what the voters of wisconsin decided back in 2006. we know that every year people are thinking about this issue and changing their minds. i was very moved when i saw the president's interview in which he talked about his journey to support marriage equality. he talked about the parents of his daughter's friends, he talked about meeting soldiers
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serving our country. he talked about all of the conversations along the way that got him to cheage his mind. tissue to change his mind. i think that's what is happening across america. >> your time has expired, representative baldwin. our next question is from lisa, directed first to representative baldwin. >> my next question focuses on the environment, a new study that came out said asian carp could infest all five of the great lakes within 20 years. what do you feel the federal government can do, particularly you as a u.s. senator, to help avert a disaster? >> representative baldwin. >> thank you. invasive species are a particular threat to the watters that we cherish so much and in particular, there's great concern that asian carp, especially entering the lake michigan through the area in chicago, is going to present a threat. i think that we have to foster
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cooperation between the great lakes states. unfortunately, we've had a little trouble on this one with illinois' cooperation but that's how we're going to do this, only if we work together. you know if wisconsin moves forward or michigan moves forward but illinois doesn't, we're going to have issues. so the great lakes compact was one i strongly supported but we need to have special compacts relating to invasive species that threaten our precious waterways. >> governor thompson? >> i'm sur surprised. -- surprised. the first time i haven't been blamed for something or george bush. you know, the truth of the matter is, we've got to stop it. i mean there's no dilly- dallying around it. this carp infestation gets into
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the great lakes it well ruin our fisheries. there's no ifs, and or buts about it. we have to demand they seal that and put wire netting up there and seal that canal as best as we possibly can. we got to convince the army corps of engineers and the great lakes governors and the states that this is something that is devastating to our future. the great lakes are an important asset for all the great lakes states, especially wisconsin. we cannot tolerate or allow the asian carp to get in there. so we have to use the power of the senate, the army corps of engineers, the house of representatives, the presidency and all the commissions in order to stop it. there's no turning back. this is a stake in the ground and we got to stop it. >> we have time for one final question. it will be from john, directed
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first to governor thompson. i am sorry, i have to ask you to limb your response to 0 seconds. >> that's not fair. >> the obama administration, said that the single most important thing -- a republican leader said the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-term president. almost indicating he will not give any compromise. if the president elected is not your party and you're elected to a senate seat to what extent will you adopt that approach? >> i'm a reformer. i was keeling -- dealing with the democrats who controlled both houses 12 out of my 15 years. i think it's important for us to make sure we do everything we can do to confront the problem and not postpone them leek my opponent has been doing for the last 14 years.
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we've got to confront them, we've got to solve the problems. i'm going to work bipartisanly with anybody who wants to work to solve the problems. i do not want us to continue on and debate and tear down, demagogue each other. i want us to solve america's problems an move this country forward. >> representative baldwin, 30 seconds. >> thank you. i will support the president and command for the chief no matter what party that individual belongs to because we're americans first. and it's high time that we put partisan, the next election and partisanship behind and put the people's business first. but i also think that it's time to stop looking at decades past about what my opponent did in the past in the 1970's and 1980's. what's important is he signed a pledge to a washington, d.c. lobbyist, grover norquist, rather than taking a pledge to the wisconsin people. that's why we have partisan fights in washington. it shouldn't be that way.
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>> thank you. that concludes the question and answer portion of our debate. each candidate will now have the opportunity to make a one and a half minute closing statement. governor thompson? >> thank you very much for watching and listening to tonight. our country is in crisis. the reason i'm run, ladies and gentlemen, is because i have three great children and eight grandchildren. i'm running for them and for your children and grandchildren. the country can no longer afford not to confront the problems. my opponent has been in congress for 14 years. she has become and ranked as the most liberal member of the house of representatives. she has voted for 150-something tax increases. i cut taxes 91 times. i reformed welfare completely so poor people would have a chance to have a job and be able to get ahead in life. i'm a reformer, ladies and gentlemen. my wife and i have worked very
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hard to do the best for wisconsin and we always will. we've lived our whole lives here and we are concerned about the future generations. i want to make sure that your children and grandchildren out there are going to be able to inherit that country, this country with stronger, freer, fairer, safer, with more options than what we had. right now the direction that's being led with more taxes, more government regulations, a government control of health care, which is being advocated by my opponent, would absolutely ruin the kind of america that all of us want to build. we want to become energy independent and safe. we got to drill, we got to build pipelines and we got to create jobs. cutting taxes and reforming the tax system, we are going to be able to allow businesses to grow and prosper and allow children to have a future that's going to be the best in the world. thank you very much and i would appreciate your vote. >> representative baldwin, your one and a half minute closing statement
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>> thank you, and thank you again for this opportunity. you've had a chance to hear from two very different candidates with two very different visions for wisconsin's future. i don't believe that we should have two sets of rules, especially in our tax code. that's why i introduced the buffett rule. it says that millionaires and billionaires should have to d their fair share. my opponent is supporting tax cuts, additional trillions of dollars, weighted to the very wealthy and it will increase the middle tax burden by an average of $1,300 per family. that's not my informationing that's the tax policy cent. on economic prior -- center. on economic priorities, i think it's porn we have a balanced approach to moving our economy forward as well as paying down our national debt. it's why i believe we should get
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out of afghanistan and -- end corporate subsidies to big oil and corporate funds. it's why we should get rid of tommy thompson's sweetheart deal for the drug companies that cost us so dearly. meanwhile -- meanwhile we have to protect our investments in education and research to help our economy grow. with medicare and social security, i believe they have to be bedrock gearn teed. tommy thompson would voucherize medicare and eliminate for our next generation. people,a voice for the not for the powerful. if this is what you're looking for in your next u.s. senator, i ask for your vote and i ask you to yone our team. >> thank you. that concludes the debate between wisconsin u.s. senate candidates congressman tammy baldwin and former governor tommy thompson. this debate has been sponsored by the wisconsin broadcasters association foundation through generous grants from the wisconsin association of independent colleges and universitys, wps health
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insurance and aarp wisconsin. we thank the candidates and we thank our panelists. over 80 wisconsin television and radio stations have broadcast this debate to ensure that every citizen has had the opportunity to hear and see the major candidates running for the senate in wisconsin. on behalf of wisconsin's radio and television broadcasters, tammy baldwin and tommy thompson, thank you for listening and watching. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> see the force of the presidential debates on wednesday. washingtonth. next, your comments on "washington journal." and then vice president biden campaigns in florida. >> the first thing in our article is hitting medicare
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costs under control. it is the number one priority and the most uncomfortable thing. that will cause more trouble than any other problem we have this silly in the united states -- fiscally in the united states. >> you said we surcharge smokers and the obese for their medicare coverage. >> i am the person who put it in the memo. i cannot have to fight hard for it. there is something i ran in washington post. instead of calling people morbidly obese, i called them mega-fatties. i was rebuked for being insensitive, which i probably data. everyone knows this to be true. someone has to pay for it.
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i am not saying you should thank people, but there should be penalties. i am not really a democrat. i am a democrat compared to him. you have to be responsible, to some extent, for your personal behavior. >> we should point out we are not the only ones making arguments like this. there have been of the bipartisan commissions and so forth. the task force that was headed by a democrat and republican sen that with regard to medicare we need to do something -- said that with regard to medicare, we need to do something about the obese and rahall -- and smokers. and there is something we need to do about end of life here. >> thinking the economy sunday >> thinking the economy sunday at


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